For millions of NASCAR fans, the Coca-Cola 600 is "the real thing" that marks the official beginning of summer.
This year, the action kicks off on Sunday, May 26, 2024 airing on FOX at 6PM ET for the landmark 65th running of the Coca Cola 600.
The big storyline this year? Kyle Larson will attempt to race both the Coca Cola 600 AND the Indianapolis 500 with McLaren Racing in a joint effort with NASCAR on Sunday.
Watch as Larson becomes just the fifth driver in racing history to run “The Double” -- driving the Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day -- as he joins racing greats Tony Stewart, John Andretti, Robby Gordon,and Kurt Busch as the only other NASCAR drivers to compete in both races.
Covering a total of (you guessed it) 600 miles, the Coca-Cola 600 is the longest NASCAR Series race and the longest car race over an oval circuit anywhere in the world. Held on the last weekend in May at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina, it has gained a growing TV viewership year after year.
It has even begun to rival the wild popularity of the Indy 500, held
on the same day. In fact, there is presently only a one-hour span between the end of the Indy 500 and the start of the Coca Cola 600, making the entire day a boon for race fans as well as for advertisers!
DID YOU KNOW? Coca Cola 600 fun facts
Racing under the lights in Charlotte.
• The Coca-Cola 600 was first held in 1960, and was the first official race to take place at the newly built Charlotte Motor Speedway.
• The Coca Cola 600 was originally staged by NASCAR to compete with the Indy 500 on Memorial Day Weekend. However, it wasn't until 1974 that both races competed on the same day.
• One of the few major night races of the season, the Coca Cola 600 begins in sunlight, continues through dusk, and ends under the lights. Old-fashioned southern comfort is the reason for the race's late start - due to Charolotte's high daytime temps and humidity.
• Dubbed the "24 Hours of Charlotte", the race in 2009 was notable for heavy rains that delayed the Coca Cola 600 from Sunday to Monday. The following day, more rain - along with cautions and red flags - resulted in 6 1/2 more hours before the race reached the finish line.
More about the Coca Cola 600 around the Web:
Charlotte Motor Speedway- The official venue with the latest news, driver profiles, pictures, gallery, complete schedule, track map, online shop and ticket information.
NASCAR.com - As race night draws near, check out Coca Cola 600 central including extensive info on the cars & drivers with related videos,
audio clips, news & updates.
Coca Cola 600 - History, trivia and a list of past winners dating back to 1960, and related photos, from Wikipedia.